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Will your most recent traffic offense cost you your license?

Traffic law often seems inconvenient and frustrating. No one wants to spend more time in traffic than is absolutely necessary, so people often bend the rules for their own convenience.

However, law enforcement efforts to uphold traffic laws mean that those who habitually speed or drive aggressively will face consequences. A driver can face arrest or citations if they get caught by the police. Traffic infractions carry a fine that you have to pay. They can also add points to your license, which might affect your driving privileges.

When would a recent traffic infraction potentially cost you your license?

When you have numerous previous tickets

Someone who gets caught repeatedly for traffic offenses, even if each citation is for a different offense, could potentially lose their license. If you accumulate 15 points within 24 months, the state will suspend your license.

Every citation carries between two and six points, so even a couple of previous tickets could make this one the citation that costs you your license. Unlawfully passing a school bus, exceeding the posted speed limit by 34 miles per hour or more and aggressive driving all carry six points. Reckless driving, improper passing on a hill and other serious speeding offenses can add four points to someone’s license. 

When you have a commercial license

Those who drive for a living are subject to more rules than the average person. A citation in your personal vehicle might affect your eligibility for a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Infractions while working could also affect your professional licensing or even your employment.

When the offense involves alcohol or drugs

Impaired driving charges involve traffic behaviors but result in actual criminal charges. One of the possible penalties after an impaired driving offense is the suspension of someone’s license.

Although people can potentially get their licenses back if they need to drive for work or to care for their families, they have to make a special request and comply with specific limitations on their driving privileges.

Protecting your license can help you remain independent, as reliance on ride-share services or public transportation could affect your punctuality and attendance at work or school. Understanding the rules about when your license may be at risk can help you better respond to allegations of a recent traffic offense.

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